Mom 'hurt' after Southwest Airlines agent questioned her motherhood of biracial child

Posted at 10:33 PM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 19:31:30-04

OAKLAND, CA (KPIX/CNN) - A college basketball coach in California is speaking up after a Southwest Airlines employee questioned her relationship to her biracial son.

UC Berkeley basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb hopes the airline learns a lesson.

"It hurt my feelings. It made me feel less than," she said.

Gottlieb said she was flying home from Denver when a Southwest agent asked her to prove she was the mother of her baby.

Gottlieb said she showed her son's passport, but the agent wasn't satisfied and demanded a birth certificate.

"She said, 'How do I know you're the mother?'" Gottlieb explained.

Gottlieb said she believes the agent questioned her because her baby is biracial.

"I was rattled, I think. I was a little bit shocked,” she said.

The agent eventually let her family check in, but Gottlieb turned to Twitter to get the airline's attention.

She tweeted: "I'm appalled that after approximately 50 times flying with my one-year-old son, ticket counter personnel told me I had to 'prove' that he was my son, despite having his passport. She said because we have different last names. My guess is because he has a diff. skin color."

Southwest said it's looking into what happened.

 "We always strive for the best experience for anyone who entrusts us with their travel," the company said in a statement.

Gottlieb wants to see a real atoning for the insensitivity.

"It is my responsibility to say, 'Hey, this happened, this isn't okay.' And maybe somewhere down the line, that helps my son, who is biracial," she said.

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